Retail success begins well before and after a sale
Before The Sale
Retail success begins well before a sale with customer strategy and effective marketing.
- Designing The Customer Experience. Successful retailers have always been customer-centric. But best-in-class retailers are building upon their customer focus with Customer Experience (CX) management strategies in order to stand out in a socially connected, multi-channel and increasingly competitive retail environment. But while Customer Experience is getting plenty of media headlines and talk among retail executives, the design and fulfillment of a customer’s wants, needs and experience is a complex undertaking that remains elusive for most retailers. I’ve written a lot on this topic, including how to implement Customer Experience strategies and programs. But despite its difficulty, recognize that the need for CX in retail is inversely related to brand or product superiority, and make no mistake that CX is a retail business imperative.
- Precision Marketing. Batch and blast offers produce poor conversions and harm future marketing efforts as consumers unsubscribe or blacklist irrelevant promotions. Instead, retailers must deliver relevant, personalized and contextual promotional offers using consumer insights and marketing automation software. Consumer insights are gathered from historical data such as POS, e-commerce, secondary systems, loyalty programs, contact centers and supply chain or fulfillment systems. When centrally managed in a CRM software system, and integrated with marketing software that tracks online customer behaviors, retailers are afforded the opportunity to design narrow customer segments and create highly relevant offers based on demographics, psychographics and behaviors, all of which can significantly grow customer acquisitions, retention and re-activation.Effective customer segmentation may be based on customer demographics, customer behavioral patterns, customer preferences for known brands or into tiers based on Recency-Frequency-Monetary (RFM) values. The bottom line is that the more narrow the segmentation, the higher the conversions and the lower the opt-outs or unsubscribes. My experience has found that deep customer profiles combined with marketing automation software provide a particularly powerful combination for specialty, apparel, hard goods and luxury goods retailers. I’ve also found that promotional events and new product introductions deliver the highest marketing campaign conversions for these retailers.
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